Which is safer, Wood or Wire wheels?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Which is safer, Wood or Wire wheels?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Metz on Saturday, January 10, 2009 - 01:08 am:

I'm not trying to start any arguments here, but...I've got some wicked wobbles from bent or un-true demountable rims on my '26 Tudor. I'd like it to be a daily driver and I mostly want to be safe.

I've read all the threads about truing and shimming the rims, torquing the lugs and using spacers, etc. The axles and bearings are fine and the wheels themselves are true within 3/16", so I know it is an issue with the rims. One bad thing is that there is at least one cracked or broken lug on 3 out of 5 rims, so here's the question...

Are wire wheels safer than the demountable/wood spoke wheels?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris on Saturday, January 10, 2009 - 01:26 am:

Wood wheels in good condition are safe. Wire wheels are better or we would all be driving on wooden wheels today with our modern cars. 26-27 wires are good and a set weighs 12 pounds less than a set of Buffalo's. 26-27 wires with good used tires with good paint with the correct attaching parts are worth about $1200. You can get backing plates that let you put Model A wheels on a T for less. A set of Buffalo's or other period correct wheels with new spokes and new tires can cost as much as $5000. Graber makes good wooden wheels and advertises in the Vintage Ford. There are a lot of good wheel wrights around. Don't bet your life on old worn out crap. The day of the $15.00 Model T is gone for good. We don't want to read about you in the paper.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Moore on Saturday, January 10, 2009 - 02:51 am:

Wood wheels support the car with down pressure on the lower spokes, wires support the car by hanging it from the upper spokes. Wire wheels can flex on turns where wood wheels don't.

Depends on your car, how fast it is and how you drive it. I have a '26 coupe with wood wheels and even though I have several sets of wires I would never put them on it. When people look at the coupe the most common statment is "look, it has wood wheels".

Wood wheels are fine if they are safe, wires are also fine but can also be unsafe. Wood wheels sort of define a Model T where the wires make them look like an A to the public.

Like Frank said; "don't bet your life on crap". Either choice is fine as long as they are in good condition. I lost a rear wire wheel once due to a poor repair on the hub that was hidden by paint and filler, good looking wheel but not worth much when it passed me in the ditch.

Tim Moore


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